Tyler Galpin’s iPad Life

Please welcome Tyler Galpin, an incredible web designer and all around nice guy. I am very happy that he took time out of his busy schedule to talk iPads.

Tell me a little about yourself, what do you do, where do you live?

I am a 21 year-old web designer currently pushing pixels for MetaLab, a company I joined in September 2010. I’m also a university student finishing my completely-unrelated business degree in my spare time. Unlike most on the web design scene I hail from the Great White North (also known as Canada), more specifically in Toronto. Yes, I play hockey.

What was your reaction when the iPad was launched?

When the iPad launched I was really excited for the possibilities of an extended iPhone interface. That is, being no longer constricted by the relatively small screen of the iPhone and the ability to interact with a large touchscreen at an affordable price point. The large screen plus the extended battery meant that it was a must have for myself. From a future standpoint, the iPad also felt like Apple’s stepping stone to an eventual desktop touchscreen device (most likely integrated with an iMac).

I own a Macbook Pro that weighs about 5 pounds which used to be my portable entertainment unit, but this quickly gathered dust as the iPad scales in at a mere 1.5 pounds. I do have to note that the iPad is in no way a practical replacement for my Macbook Pro. I still rely heavily on the ability to use Photoshop on-the-go and the iPad fails in this department.

Which model did you order and why?

Being in Canada, where the technology gods hate us, I actually had to get my iPad while visiting New York City a week or so after its release. I ended up with the 32GB Wifi version and there are a few reasons for this choice:

  • 32Gb seemed good enough in terms of being able to store lots of media long-term without forking over an extra $100 for 32GB more space.
  • Owning an iPhone 3G (with eventual plans to upgrade to the iPhone 4) meant that an additional 3G plan would have been redundant and expensive. The added cost of the 3G model plus the $35/month Rogers was asking for an iPad plan was not worth it in my opinion.
  • $600 was a reasonable price to me for a large touchscreen.

How are you using the iPad on a daily basis?

On a daily basis I use my iPad for a few but very useful/important tasks:

  • Twitter: Yes, it is important. While I love Tweetie for mac, its nice to have twitter open in a dedicated screen beside my iMac so i can focus on using Photoshop/Espresso/Illustrator/Safari on my desktop.
  • Writing: I write to take down ideas, brainstorm a bit, blog (kidding – I totally neglect this), and compose emails. Mail.app is surprisingly delightful to use on the ipad.
  • Media watching: Sometimes I like to get away from my desk chair and lounge somewhere to watch things I’ve downloaded – converting files using Handbrake on my mac makes this a breeze.
  • Reading: Reeder.app for keeping up with my RSS feeds and to get inspiration from the myriad of design blogs. Instapaper for reading those articles and organizing sites I’ve saved for later perusal. Both of these apps are phenomenal, and I recommend that anyone who does a lot of web browsing to try Instapaper. I promise it’ll be worth your time.

Even the Safari browser gets a special mention here because it is really a joy to use and interact with.

Can you give me a quick run down of the apps that you use the most?

  • Reeder: A great looking RSS app that integrates well with Google Reader
  • Twitter: The official app. Some wonky UI bits but overall a good Twitter app.
  • Writer: Literally just bought Writer only 2 weeks ago and have been warming up to it ever since. Some really great ideas in the app such as a focus mode, among others.
  • iStudiezPro: A stupid name, but a great app for a university student.
  • Instapaper: Seriously, go try it out.
  • Dropbox: A great way to access client files on-the-go and show designs easily.
  • Plants vs Zombies: Guilty as charged.

Which app is your favorite?

Choosing Instapaper as my favourite would be too easy so I’ll go with another app that I recommend you all download – the official TED app. Best of all? It’s free. You get access to dozens of inspirational talks that will get you fired up if you’re ever in a creative rut.

Do you have any bag/stand/case recommendations for people?

I have only ever used the official Apple case once or twice and didn’t like how cheap it felt (in my opinion). I bought the Incase Convertible Book Jacket which is priced around $59.99. It’s sturdy, has lots of padding (seriously, I’ve stacked books on this thing), and doubles as an iPad stand. It’s also relatively easy to take out in case you’re just not feeling the extra bulk.

What features do you want to see in a future iPad?

After upgrading my 3G to an iPhone 4, I can tell you it is extremely hard to take the iPad as seriously as I did before seeing the Retina screen. I’m not kidding when I say it really changes the way you view the pixels on the iPad’s screen. I’d like to see the Retina screen migrate over to the iPad, as well as a front-facing camera. These options alone would be reason enough for me to upgrade to a newer iPad.

Thanks again to Tyler for taking the time to give us a little insight into his iPad life. Be sure to follow him on Twitter, he has a noble goal of trying to respond to anyone who pings him.

More iPad Life

To see more people’s iPad Lives take a look here.

Originally posted for members on: October 18, 2010
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